Florida Keys & Key West Coronavirus Info & Updates

THE KEYS ARE CLOSED TO VISITORS. ALL THOSE ENTERING THE KEYS SHOULD CARRY BACKUP IDENTIFICATION OR DOCUMENTS PROVING HOMEOWNERSHIP OR RESIDENCY.

Monroe County has amended its visitor directive lodging establishments to remain closed until June 1, 2020.

The Emergency Directive 20-02 2nd Amendment states that lodging establishments (motel, vacation rental, marina, RV park, and timeshare) authorization to begin accepting reservations, contingent that those reservations(with the exception of vacation rentals) can only be honored starting June 1, 2020.

The Governors Executive Order 20-123 prohibits the opening of vacation rentals until the “Counties seek approval to operate vacation rentals with a written request from the County Administrator and the county’s safety plan for vacation rental operations submitted to the DBPR (Department of Business and Professional Regulation) Secretary. DBPR will post and update guidance on its website.”

The checkpoints at mile marker 112.5 on U.S. 1 and State Road 905 will remain in place and screenings will continue at Key West International and Marathon Florida Keys airports until June 1, 2020.

LODGING ESTABLISHMENTS TO REOPEN AND REMOVAL OF CHECKPOINTS JUNE 1, 2020

Monroe County plans to reopen to visitors Monday, June 1 by suspending the checkpoints on U.S. 1 and State Road 905 and allowing lodging establishments, with the exception of vacation rentals, to take guests at 50 percent occupancy.

Monroe County lodging establishments, like hotels, campgrounds, RV parks, marinas and other transient-licensed establishments will be required to implement sanitation procedures and follow the American Hotel and Lodging Association COVID-19 guidelines for enhanced cleaning practices (www.ahla.com). The timeline for removing the 50 percent capacity restriction for lodging will be determined at a later date.

Per Governor Executive Order 20-123, the County Administrator will submit a written request and safety plan to the Department of Business and Professional Regulation Secretary to seek approval for the operation of vacation rentals.

Airport screenings and bus restrictions will also be lifted on June 1.

This is subject to revision based on data regarding the prevalence of the virus within Monroe County, increased testing and contact tracing protocols, and the efforts in the adjacent counties to continue to control transmission of the virus. All other requirements are not lifted. Should the Florida Keys experience an increase in cases and under the advisement of the Florida Department of Health, restrictions may be heightened and/or amenities may again be closed.

Monroe County residents are urged to continue to follow directives set by the State, County, and municipalities to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, including wearing masks in public settings, limiting group sizes to 10 or less, and physically distancing from others by six feet. More information on COVID-19 efforts in Monroe County can be found at www.monroecountyem.com/covid19. Tourism-related information can be found at www.fla-keys.com.

The Florida Keys have been closed to visitors since March 22 to minimize the spread of COVID-19.

Monroe County Additional Protective Measures for Businesses and Customers
The Governor’s order allows retail businesses to operate at 50 percent of building capacity. Restaurants are to operate at 50 percent of indoor capacity. Outdoor seating capacity will not be limited, as long as tables are 6 feet apart and seated parties are groups of 10 or less. According to the directive, bars and bar seating in restaurants must remain closed. Bars are considered a business that derives more than 50 percent of its revenue from alcohol sales.

The amended Governor’s order allows hair and nail salons, barbershops, and massage therapists to open. Capacity is limited to 25%. All customers must be appointment only, with 15 minutes between appointments for sanitizing and disinfecting practices. No group appointments. Masks must be worn by all employees and customers, to the extent that a mask unreasonably interferes with the services. All surfaces, tools and linens must be disinfected prior to reopening, even if already cleaned. This should continue between each day of operation. Remove all unnecessary frequently touched items, such as newspapers, magazines, service menus and all unnecessary paper products and decor from service areas.

Gyms, fitness centers, yoga and dance studios may open, at 50% capacity and with social distancing guidelines.

The County will continue the directive of using facial coverings in public settings. Senior citizens and individuals with an underlying medical condition are still strongly encouraged to stay at home and take all measures to limit the risk of exposure to COVID-19.

Facial Coverings In Public Still Required
Medical and surgical face masks, such as “N95” masks, are in short supply and should be reserved for health care personnel and other first responders with the greatest need for such personal protective equipment. Covering over the nose and mouth may include a face mask, homemade mask, or other cloth covering, such as a scarf, bandanna, handkerchief or other similar cloth covering.

Get reliable information from trusted resources:

Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
Florida Department of Health
Monroe County Emergency Management

Want to talk to someone:
Florida Department of Health Call Center, 866-779-6121 (24 Hours)
Monroe County Information Hotline: 800-955-5504 (9 a.m. to 5 p.m.)
Key West Information Hotline/Key West Related Questions Only: 305-809-1101 (8 a.m. to 8 p.m.)
To Report Crowds, Non-Compliant Use of Facial Coverings, Essential Businesses: Please Call Code Compliance in your area first
Key West Code Compliance: 305-809-3740
Marathon Code Compliance:305-289-5024
Key Colony Beach Code Compliance: 305-289-1212 ext. 3
Islamorada Code Compliance: 305-664-6435.
Layton Code Compliance: 305-664-4667
County Code Compliance
Lower Keys: 305-295-4343
Middle Keys: 305-289-2810
Upper Keys: 305-453-8806

Law enforcement can be contacted if code compliance is not available or after hours:
Key West Police Dept: 305-809-1000
Monroe County Non-Emergency Line: 305-292-7000

Frequently Asked Questions for Florida Keys Travelers

What is coronavirus (COVID-19)?

CDC logoOn February 11, 2020, the World Health Organization announced an official name for the disease that is causing the 2019 novel coronavirus outbreak, first identified in Wuhan China. The new name of this disease is coronavirus disease 2019, abbreviated as COVID-19. In COVID-19, ‘CO’ stands for ‘corona,’ ‘VI’ for ‘virus,’ and ‘D’ for disease.

There are many types of human coronaviruses including some that commonly cause mild upper-respiratory tract illnesses. COVID-19 is a new disease, caused be a novel (or new) coronavirus that has not previously been seen in humans. (source: CDC.gov)

Who is most affected by COVID-19?

The elderly (over age 65) and those with compromised immune systems or underlying health conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, lung disease such as COPD, or obesity are at the greatest risk for serious effects from COVID-19.

How can I best protect myself and my family?

stop the spreadWhile there’s not yet a vaccine for COVID-19, the best prevention and treatments are methods that have been practiced for years when dealing with flu and respiratory illnesses. The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to the virus.

Health officials remind people that preventive actions to help impede the spread of respiratory diseases include:

• Avoid close contact with people who are sick
• Stay home and avoid contact with persons in poor health
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
• Cover coughs or sneezes with a tissue, then dispose of the tissue
• Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating and after blowing the nose, coughing or sneezing
• If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol; always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

The Florida Department of Health website has step-by-step guidance.

Are events with large groups of people safe to attend?

The CDC has “mass gatherings” guidance with regard to avoiding or limiting events, groups and gatherings.

It is also recommended that individuals avoid any contact with other individuals in, closed-in or poorly ventilated settings with little air circulation if you are:

• A contact to a known or suspected case of COVID-19
• Over the age of 65 with underlying health conditions
• Immune compromised
• Are ill
• Have been exposed to someone with a respiratory illness in the last 14 days
• Have chronic health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes or lung disease
• Have traveled internationally within the last 14 days, especially to destinations under a level 3 travel advisory
• Have traveled to or from a geographic area with widespread community transmission of COVID-19

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Thanks for your support as we now help to reforest the Pine Ridge Native American Reservation…one print job at a time.

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